Appraisal volume declined for the week of Aug. 21 as kids start to head back to school, and parents turn their focus away from house hunting, according to the latest National Appraisal Volume Index report from a la mode.

Up until this report, volume was on the rise and increased three weeks in a row. The amount of appraisals is a precursor to mortgage applications.

The latest National Appraisal Volume Index showed that volume slowed for the week of Aug. 21, declining by 1.5%, reversing the 1% rise the week before. 

In addition, the 4-week average dropped by two-tenth of a percent to 2.2%, explained Kevin Golden, director of analytics with a la mode. 

“The slight cooling is expected this time of year as families get settled for the start of the school year,” said Golden.

See the chart below, which is provided exclusively to HousingWire, to see appraisal volume over the past four weeks.

Click to enlarge

a la mode

(Source: a la mode)

Again, appraisal volume is an indicator of market strength and holds some advantages over weekly mortgage applications.

For example, fallout is less for appraisals since they are ordered later in the mortgage process, after creditworthiness is determined, and there are few multiple-orders, by the time an appraisal is conducted.